Active Citizens is a non-profit programme that promotes community cohesion and improvement through civic engagement or volunteering.
Since the launch of Active Citizens 2009 to April 2016, we have worked in 45 countries worldwide with over 525 partner organisations. Through these partners we have trained 4,688 facilitators and 155,078 Active Citizens who have designed and implemented 6,232 social action projects.
Run by the British Council and partner organisations, it aims to increase the contribution of community leaders towards achieving sustainable development both locally and globally.
It also encourages peer-to-peer relations across cultural, geographic and political boundaries via a lively online social network of participants, as well as occasional international exchange visits.
Active Citizens in Burma was launched in 2010 and since then has engaged with over 3000 community leaders across the country. The programme has been delivered in 30 communities ranging from Karen and Mon states, to the northern parts of Shan State as well as Rakhine State in Western Burma.
How does Active Citizens work?
- A national strategy
Research identifies key national issues. For example, in some countries a key issue might be literacy, in others, environmental protection might be considered more urgent. The British Council then forms partnerships with civil society organisations (delivery partners) working in these areas, to enable the delivery of Active Citizens locally.
- Facilitator development workshops
Delivery partners identify local facilitators. These facilitators take part in facilitator development workshops to find out more about the programme and explore approaches to delivering the programme locally.
- Local community delivery
Local facilitators adapt and deliver local workshops to groups of Active Citizens in their communities.
Active Citizens work with facilitators to design and deliver social action projects in their communities.
- Globally connected
Locally engaged Active Citizens connect to a global network through study visits and exchanges with other countries, as well as through sharing via online portals and working on joint activities with communities around the world.
Active Citizens is delivered through our local partners in Burma, which include Edulife, Mote Oo Education, Swe Tha Har Social Services, Movement for Democratic Forces (MDCF) and PS Business School. A significant amount of free volunteer hours are also invested in the programme by the participants.
This year Active Citizens focuses on strengthening Burma’s democratic process through stronger civic engagement. In partnership with our local partner Edulife, we are training 240 active citizens in four locations –Thingangyun and Hlaing Tharyar Townships in Yangon Region, Kalay in Sagaing Region and Myaung Mya in Ayeyarwaddy Region. Over the course of the project, our active citizens will be engaging with MPs and community leaders in civic forums, as they develop and deliver social action projects in their respective communities.